When I was working in the US, there were a number of work trips throughout the year to various places – sales meetings, customer meetings, special projects, etc. Here, my work travel has taken me to some incredible places, but it is rarely with my team. This week, we took advantage of a Nestle property in Tuscany, where we held a mid-year off-site. The team has expanded a lot in the past year, so it was a great opportunity for some team building, too.
One of the water brands that Nestle owns in Italy is Acqua Panna. Its spring sits in Tuscany between Bologna and Florence. When Nestle acquired the brand, it acquired the spring, the factory, and a beautiful villa that is said to have belonged to the de Medici family (from the Renaissance period). It was stunning, and the hostess, chefs, and drivers took such good care of us during our stay!
[Welcome to Villa Panna!]
[My huge room at the villa! Yes, it has 1.5 bathrooms!]
[First order of business was lunch in the garden! It was DELICIOUS! And, it was so wonderful to have more moderate temperatures after a REALLY hot week in Vevey.]
[The grounds, the views, and the villa itself were just beautiful.]
[A little team outing to the tiny Tuscan town of Scarperia]
[Scarperia is known for knife-making. We got to see a demonstration about how they are made.]
[And, of course, no day in Italy is complete without gelato!]
[For those wondering if I ever work, here’s some proof]
During our second evening, the team building activity was a cooking competition. We were divided into teams to make the four courses, which would be our meal. At the end, we voted for our favorite. I was on the Tiramasu team, and we won!!
Kudos to the team members who organized this event. It was productive and fun – the perfect combination!